There’s as much differentiation in how you sell as there is in what you sell. The most successful salespeople don't stand out from the competition by touting features and functions of their latest product. Rather, they are diligent about selling fundamentals and following key sales best practices.
A salesperson who focuses on value and solving problems with business impact will make a lesser competitor nervous every time. Use these best practices to differentiate yourself with your prospects and stand out from the competition:
1. Uncover Your Prospect’s Largest Business Issue and the Impact
The best way to rise above the competition with any buyer is to ask the right questions. Remember, deals are won and lost on effective discovery. Why? Because an effective discovery process uncovers the most pressing business issue. It allows you to attach your solution to the problem with the largest business impact.
If you’re not able to identify your prospect’s pain points or business goals, you’ll be seen as just another vendor. Don’t just stop at finding the issue, you also have to uncover the impact. If your customer needs a more efficient way to conduct remote meetings, that’s good information to use in your conversations. But, if you can quantify that impact in dollars, you’ll be able to justify purchasing your solution much more effectively.
2. Remember to Focus on Value
Stay away from the bells and whistles of your new product and focus on the value it can provide to your buyer. Why should the buyer even schedule a conversation with you? What value are you going to provide?
While your competition is busy conducting product demo after demo, differentiate your solution by tying it to the business value for the prospect organization.
Remember, B2B buyers often research your product or service online before even speaking with you, so they likely know more about your solution than they ever have before. Help them form a solution to their business needs.
3. Elevate the Conversation to the C-Suite
Get the decision to the decision-makers. Many B2B sellers find themselves stuck in a frustrating cycle of “no-decision,” while trying to have a sales conversation with mid-level managers who aren’t qualified to make the final call.
Differentiate yourself by elevating your sales conversation to the C-Suite. Once you uncover the largest business problem, your conversation will likely shift to issues needing C-level input. Focus your conversation on the business impact that demands this high-level attention and you’ll find yourself dealing with those who hold the purse strings. You can enjoy watching your competitors wallow with the technical buyers.
4. Focus on the Required Capabilities
Two critical components to rising above the competition are (1) defining what is needed to make your solution a success and (2) gaining agreement on those requirements. If you’ve conducted your discovery process effectively, your solution’s key differentiators should be part of those required capabilities. If they are, it will be hard for your competition to sell your customer on their inferior solution. Game over.
5. Have Repeatable and Consistent Messaging
It’s not uncommon for sales organizations to leave the “selling” to the seller, and as a result they abdicate the outcome of the sale to chance. If you asked your salespeople these questions, would you get the same answer?
- What problems do you solve for your customers?
- How do you specifically solve these problems?
- How do you do it differently than your competition?
- What’s your proof?
If you can’t guarantee that your sales team is articulating these answers in the same way to the customer, you likely have a messaging problem. With a consistent sales messaging methodology, your customer-facing messages are in sync. This repeatability provides clarity for the customer on your value, while your competition waffles with mixed messages.
Providing sales consumable tools for your team gives them a roadmap to closing a sale and enables them to use consistent messaging throughout the sales conversation. Their ability to tie the right solution to the buyer’s problem is your secret sauce - your value currency. Using positive business outcomes (PBOs), required capabilities, and proof points throughout the sales conversation is what keeps the buyer focused on your ability to provide a solution, not on whether you’re cheaper than the next guy.